In life, we all have our own battles to fight regardless of our status, financial capability, religion, ethnicity, or race. But what if you have to face a battle with such vulnerable body and mind? What if you have no one to fight your battles with? I am still on the first few sentences of this blog, yet I really feel emotional and blessed right now. And I could tell you a lot of reasons why.
I had a wonderful time catching up with a dear friend few days ago. To my surprise, he told me that he has been lending a hand to a certain charity institution in Juna Subdivision here in Davao City. Honestly, I was amazed by his noble deeds, not to mention he didn’t want me to mention his name in this blog. I don’t wanna tell stories about a faceless or nameless character so I decided to call him “daddy-long-legs” (remember the famous character from an American novel of the same name about a orphan named Judy Abbott who writes letters to her benefactor, whom she has never seen?). It’s the best name I could come up with. haha! My friend doesn’t wanna be named in this blog, so I decided to give him the name Daddy-long-legs. (In that novel, daddy-long-legs is a tall, good-looking man with a golden heart. My friend and daddy-long-legs have some things in common..char!).
He asked me if I am willing to lend a hand and visit the charity institution. There was never even an ounce of hesitation, so I said yes in a heartbeat.
One Of The Best Days Of My Life
Anyway, I went to Juna Subdivision last Friday, 3rd of July. That day was so different, but in a good way. There was a mixture of emotions in me. I was excited, a bit nervous, a bit clueless of what to expect, a bit tired because I’ve just finished writing an ebook and happy, of course. I was in a hurry to go there so I took a taxi. Unfortunately, the driver didn’t have a clue where the charity institution exactly is. We were like roaming around the subdivision for 5 to 10 minutes. He even used GPS to locate it, but couldn’t.
I felt a bit helpless, so I just took a selfie while he was busy locating the institution. (supportive man pud si manong driver kay gihunong niya ang taxi kadali kadtong na-feel niya nga naglisod kog selfie kung magdagan ang taxi..haha!)
Little did we realize, the key to finding the institution was by asking the tricycle drivers in the area. We asked a tricycle driver who happened to pass by and then few minutes after, I found myself pressing the door bell of a bluish-green gate. When the door opened, a middle-aged woman smiled at and greeted me. I told her I am looking for ate Tonet since “Daddy-long-legs” told me to look for her the moment I arrive there. She said ate Tonet was in the adoration room praying, so I said I will just wait for her.
The Bravest Souls Fight The Toughest Battles
While waiting, I met ate Eden, one of the helpers/volunteers in the institution. She led me to a room where the kids were. It was a room filled with individual cribs for the children there. The moment I stepped in, I was about to burst in tears because it was such a sad scenario. I told myself that these kids deserve the best in life yet, some of them were just lying in their crib due to cerebral palsy while others have hydrocephalus. There were about 12 to 15 children in the room, ranging from 1 – 16 years old.
According to ate Eden, some of the kids there are normal except for being malnourished that is why their parents sent them to the institution to be taken care of since they could not provide the basic needs of their children.
I actually thought I was about to cry, but all of a sudden a frail-looking yet pretty young girl called me saying, “ate, ali para gud” and then another one uttered “ate, ali diri”. Those words were so sweet to me, I was even surprised. I found myself warmly smiling at them. It was such a different yet fantastic feeling. I could sense how much they wanted some attention, love and care. I can personally say that the helpers in the institution are trying their best to give love and care to the children, treating them as if they were their own.
The first girl who called me to approach her was Jonalyn, a brave young soul who is suffering from cerebral palsy. Unlike other children with such condition, she has the ability to talk (as a matter of fact, she is the most talkative among the girls). She just stays in her crib because she would fall down if she tries to stand up. The other girl was Gat-gat. When I approached her crib, she was drawing something on a magic pen board (not sure if I named it right).
For particular reasons, I had to cover her face with a smiley. Gat-gat is really a sweet girl just like the other kids in the institution. At first, I thought she was a boy. I even told her, “hala wow, nice imong drawing dong!” Then, she replied, “babae man ko…” (aw, haha sorry!). I also met a very pretty and cute young girl named Wada. She was very sweet to me, hugging me and wanting me to carry her in my arms. She would always spread her arms for hugs and kisses.
The next thing I knew, we were playing together. Almost all the kids gathered in front of me. Using their magic pen board, we drew different things together and they were so happy every time. I remembered I have a magic ball in my bag. It lights up whenever you hit it with your hand or tap it. They were so amazed by it. They loved it. Their amazement amazed me as well. I became an “entertainer” in an instant. haha!
It was such a life-changing experience for me. From the bottom of my heart, I am so thankful I went there. I visited them to see how I could lend a hand to them. But the truth is, they were the ones who helped me. They were able to help me in so many ways.
Because of them, I’ve realized so many things. It is a shame on my part not to feel contented and keep on complaining about shallow, nonsense things when in fact they appreciate every help given to them. Sometimes, I complain about being tired, but the battle they face every day is so overwhelming that I could not even imagine myself in their situation. I salute them for being the brave souls who face their tough battles on a daily basis. I’ve realized how blessed and lucky I am.
That day, I went home with a big smile on my face. I got plans of spending my birthday with them next month. It was just a short visit, but those kids really touched my life in a way they could never imagine. And, I will definitely keep on coming back.
(P.S. To daddy-long-legs: Thanks a lot for leading me there! And I really mean it. See you again soon. 🙂
The Featured Image: